Contemporary Art, Culture

Jon Rafman x 9 Eyes

Earlier this month I had the privilege to volunteer (aka get a free ticket) to Power Ball which is The Power Plant‘s yearly fundraiser which exhibited works by Christine Davis, CONFETTISYSTEM, and Jon Rafman, with performances by Oli Sorenson and Naomi Kashiwagi, and a BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer) exhibit. While in the Jon Rafman gallery I actually saw him, and while I didn’t speak to him the other volunteer I was with had an awkward run in with him. She didn’t know who he was and he was carrying around a little taxidermy dog that was attached to one of his pieces (he basically tore it off- fur still attached to the mattress haha) and reminded him he was not allowed to touch the artwork. He responded with a posh, “I’m allowed to…I’m the artist”.

His installations at Power Ball examined the effects of digital media on individual consciousness and social and cultural memory while exploring troll caves and how some online users arrange their lives for maximum internet-use. While I thought I thought this installation was interesting, I think his The Nine Eyes of Google Street View series is eye opening and reveals bizarre intimacies of our society in such a beautiful way by using the images captured by Google Street View cameras around the world.

Here are some of my favourites as well as some pictures I took from Power Ball:

john rafman 9 eyes21 john rafman 9 eyes20 john rafman 9 eyes19 john rafman 9 eyes18 john rafman 9 eyes17 john rafman 9 eyes16john rafman 9 eyes 12 john rafman 9 eyes10 john rafman 9 eyes 11john rafman 9 eyes 8 john rafman 9 eyes7 john rafman 9 eyes6 john rafman 9 eyes5john rafman 9 eyes 2john rafman 9 eyes 22

And his works from Power Ball:

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Jon Rafman himself

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Me on the Troll Throne

Me on the Troll Throne

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Artist Profile

Artist Profile//Yayoi Kusama

yayoi kusama

Yayoi Kusama definitely has had an interesting life- exhibiting with Warhol, Segal, and Oldenburg as well as being one of Christies New York’s highest selling living female artist as of 2008 for a piece that sold for $5.1 million. Proclaimed the “Polka Dot Princess” she is a deeply talented and troubled artist. While focusing on painting, sculpture, performance art, and sculpture, her avant-garde pieces touches on feminism, minimalism, surrealism, art pop, and abstract expressionism and is in part autobiographical, sexual and psychological. She is best known for her psychedelic colours, patterns, and repetition. As a young child, Kusama experienced hallucinations, severe obsessive behaviour, and suicidal thoughts which lead her to admit herself in a mental institution later where she permanently spends her time now by choice. From here she produces art and initiated a successful writing career of novels, autobiographies, and poetry as well as produced works in films and fashion design such as Derek Lam and Louis Vuitton to name a couple.

“Polka-dots become movement… Polka dots are a way to infinity”

Her trademark polka dots or “infinity nets” are inspired directly by her hallucinations. Most recently, her infinity rooms/mirror rooms shown last year at David Zwirner in New York was one of the most Instagrammed art installations. Kusama has been working on this series since 1963 exhibiting in various other renowned galleries such as the Whitney. These art installations are lined with mirrored glass with neon coloured balls hanging from various heights on the ceiling so while the viewer is standing in the platform it gives the illusion of an infinite space.

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Infinity Room, “The Souls of a Million Lightyears Away”, (2013) via This Is Colossal

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Kusuma in her Infinity Room, “Fireflies on the Water” (2002) via The Whitney

kusama infinity mirror room love forever

Infinity Room, “Love Forever” (1984) via DailyMail

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“Love is Calling” (2013) via Skirt Sorbet

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“Polka Dot Madness” via Art Boom

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Kusama for Louis Vuitton via Arrested Motion

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Kusama for Louis Vuitton via Arrested Motion

She truly has such an amazing mind and I can’t wait to experience her art first hand one day.

 

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